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Police, Armies, Courts and Laws

What they are actually designed to do

By Bonnie Weinstein


Fightback!:
A Collection of Socialist Essays

by Sylvia Weinstein

The U.S. government, its police, armies, courts and laws are not designed to protect people or keep the peace, they are designed to protect the property and rule of the wealthy. They are tools to keep workers in our place or destroy us if they can’t.

They protect and serve the capitalist system and its commanders. The commanders make the laws as they go along. What benefits them is legal, what doesn’t, is illegal, criminal and worthy of their most extreme punishment—prison, torture or death—whatever they deem most effective in protecting their rule.

The effectiveness of the system itself is dependent upon its ability to fool most of the people most of the time and that’s what their money buys in the mass media.

Their wars causing the deaths of millions are justified by lies fed to the mass media and force-fed to us. They are wars for profit and power—capitalist profit and capitalist power.

The job of the media is to convince us that “collateral damage” caused by U.S. bombs is not just unavoidable, but can be blamed on the dead for being in the vicinity of the bomb; that a man can be legally choked to death for selling cigarettes; that a boy can be shot to death for carrying a toy gun—a gun manufactured, advertised, promoted as “fun” by billion-dollar TV commercials; that a young man can be shot to death for walking in the street because, sometime after he was killed, a video was released by the police implying that that same young man might have stolen a box of cigars earlier that day. This rationalization by the police and the media is plainly intended to make the police shooting look justified.

This is the job of the capitalist media.

The first law of capitalism is profits over people

In another example of capitalist injustice, a December 29, 2014 New York Times article by Barry Meier and Hilary Stout titled, “Victims of G.M. Deadly Defect Fall Through the Legal Cracks,” tells about the refusal of a law firm to take a case against General Motors involving the death of a young girl because the “value of her life…was too small to justify the expense and risk of litigation.”

“The law firm was unequivocal. It refused to take the case against General Motors involving a car crash that killed 18-year-old Natasha Weigel, saying that the value of her life in a lawsuit was too small to justify the expense and risk of litigation….But when Ms. Weigel’s family shared that report with a major plaintiff’s law firm in Milwaukee, the firm responded with cold, hard math….The family of Amy Rademaker, the other teenager killed in the Wisconsin crash, was also unable to find a lawyer to take on G.M. unless they financed the case themselves…Lawyers said they were aware of six ignition-related lawsuits that the automaker had settled out of court, including some under arrangements that barred public disclosures about them….‘This is so frustrating to me,’ Mr. Rimer said. ‘If we had gone to litigation, this would have gone to the forefront. We could have saved lives.’

“Companies, lawyers and judges have long faced criticism for suppressing information contained in lawsuits about product dangers.”

And an earlier article in the New York Times dated November 5, 2014 by James Kanter titled, “Hundreds of Companies Seen Cutting Tax Bills by Sending Money Through Luxembourg,” exposes the gross hypocrisy of the capitalist system of financial justice and law.

This article exposes how some of the biggest corporations get away with stealing hundreds-of-billions-of-dollars in taxes through offshore tax scams. And, in fact, how these legal tax scams are carefully drawn up by corporate law firms and made legal by the courts. According to the article:

“The list of multinational businesses accused of using European jurisdictions to cut their tax bills grew much longer…when a group of investigative reporters published findings accusing more than 300 companies, including PepsiCo, Ikea and FedEx, of benefiting from preferential deals with the government of Luxembourg…The findings, by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, are based on a trove of leaked documents that included 548 so-called comfort letters that the group said Luxembourg had provided to corporations seeking favorable tax treatment. ‘These companies appear to have channeled hundreds-of-billions of dollars through Luxembourg and saved billions of dollars in taxes….’ …the European Commission expanded an investigation into how Luxembourg provided tax incentives, adding Amazon to the inquiry. The commission had already begun similar investigations this year into the tax arrangements of a unit of Fiat in Luxembourg, Apple in Ireland and Starbucks in the Netherlands…. Last month, in response to the start of the investigation concerning Amazon, the Luxembourg finance ministry said that reports of so-called state aid were unfounded and that ‘the investigation will allow the commission to conclude that no special tax treatment or benefits have been granted to Amazon.’

“The consortium said the documents it had obtained involved deals negotiated by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, an accounting firm, on behalf of hundreds of corporate clients.”

So, according to capitalist law, the selling of individual cigarettes on the street without a license is punishable by death; and walking down the street while Black is punishable by death; and a child carrying a toy gun is fair game for police, too.

But bombs and drone strikes that kill thousands is justified, and the stealing of hundreds-of-billions of tax dollars is OK, as long as the capitalists can profit from it, and still protect their rule.

The lesson of the capitalist chain of command: the masses are weak and the rulers are all powerful

The capitalist system only works if the masses are convinced that we are powerless and the capitalist are all-powerful. Their police, laws and legal system are set up to convince us of this myth. It takes money to navigate through the U.S. legal system—money workers don’t have. These capitalist laws are not for us, they are against us.

From cradle to grave we are told that we must trust in a power higher than us. We are taught that we would be living in chaos without yielding to the higher power of order and law, that is, capitalist order and capitalist law.

The truth is that capitalism’s order and law, that puts profits over people, is our prison.

Putting people over profits will throw open the prison gates and, once and for all, we will be free to practice the human compassion and community that will come naturally to us in a free, just and equal society.